Why Beyond Justice Should be Made into a Major Motion Picture (Guest Blogger Scott Lowell)
I’m really excited about this new feature on my blog (new to me, anyway.)Â For my inaugural, I’m featuring a post by Scott Lowell, one of my the best unofficial Facebook/social media commentators I know.Â I hope you’ll join me in welcoming Scott, as well as many more guest bloggers to come.
Why Beyond Justice should be Made into a Major Motion Picture…and PG-13.
By Scott Lowell
Ok, it was a dark and stormy night. Really, it was. I didn’t feel like doing anything so I flipped through the channels and forced myself to watch a couple â€œLifetimeâ€ channel movies. I understood why family guy depicted the channel as â€œTelevision for idiots.â€ Christian or not, the syrupy, Disney-like mush they show is often as far from reality as a cartoon. This channel attempts to depict crisis, serious life-changing traumatic events but does so in an almost 50’s Tv puritanical way. When a Marine is shot in the head in a training accident, dad, mom and everyone else don’t amble around saying â€œGolly, gosh darn!â€ When someone is raped or murdered it’s often handled in an afterschool special standoffish way. Please. Someone give me a shot of insulin, and I’m not even diabetic. Let’s get real for a minute. I postulated: well, if this is what Christian drama is about…leave me out. It was to realistic drama what Lawrence Welk and Pat Boone was to rock music. I still cringe at the video of Boone performing Little Richard. Watch to induce vomiting.
Â Nook, lines and stinkers.
Long about July of 2010 I did some shopping for e-readers, and decided to get a Barnes and Noble nook. This was because it had an overwhelmingly larger library- a multiple of what is available on Amazon’s kindle and still does as of March 2011. Otherwise, I’d really prefer a kindle DX, I am not fond of the Nook’s 6â€ screen. I can’t read a whole page of text at once, even on the smallest font setting. I sometimes use the nook application and read it from a 65â€ screen, but I digress. I loaded up on nonfiction titles, biographies and the like. Since I have travelled the world I found non fiction more interesting than something that never happened. I perused facebook and read a lot of glowing recommendations for Joshua Graham’s Beyond Justice, a decidedly Christian thriller. I never even considered this genre before due to the lifetime channel poisoning still coursing through my blood. The diverse crowd’s recommendation and the extremely low price sold me. I mean, I have wasted anywhere from $9.99 to $29.99 on dead tree books that made me want to consider using them in a fireplace. So $3.99 was nothing. That is less than I’d spend on gas going food shopping or a movie rental.
Don’t fear the reader.
This book made me realize that there is an empty niche out there. That is: hard hitting Christian drama/thrillers/mysteries that don’t involve exorcism or Church scandal. Right now we have the two extremes. The sappy, toothless lifetime snore fests that desiccate the reality and ameliorate the impact so as to make them too saccharine and not realistic or acceptable to mainstream viewers. We also have the idiotic alternative scripture films that depict angels as evil, or the obligatory head and stomach turning possession story. Calling Beyond Justice Christian -or not- the story is still interwoven with faith and how it helps someone cope and overcome. Even if one is a total atheist, they can enjoy a story of how a horrific event, false accusations and other challenges can be coped with by faith. Long term prisoners of war all cite how faith got them through the ordeal. They used faith to center, to focus and to survive.
I saw the faith, now I’m a redeemer…
Beyond Justice transcends the diabetes-inducing image of the puritanical and watered down run of the mill Christian themed stories. It does not beat you over the head preaching, nor does it go overboard and try to depict hardcore faith vs evil. It’s like an amalgam of a “Shawshank redemption” or “an innocent man” type framework that looks more introspectively and tackles responses more thoughtfully , than just a tale of escape and revenge. The values are Christian, and it’s buildup is a realistic mirror of what a lot of us have felt and asked ourselves: “Why should I have faith?” The story answers that gradually, not in a quick epiphany. It also doesn’t shy away from realistic emotion and horrific events. You need to be able to see the gut-wrenching pain of a parent and husband shattered to his soul, not some weak reference. It needs to be a movie that retains it’s edge in a PG-13 way. “R” would be unnecessarily graphic and overboard to make the point. This book is not a splatter or slasher film and does not need to be ruined by making it as such. “PG” would lack the intensity it should project. That would make it a lukewarm lifetime channel effort. The events in Beyond Justice are not “G” or “PG”, nor should they be. The movie could be made to deliver the emotion with due levels of impact if made to a PG-13 standard. Mass has concluded.
Faithful, or not I recommend you read Beyond Justice now. It’s not there to convert you, Bible thump at you, or proselytize. It is there to add a fresh, and realistic journey from emptiness, to the ultimate horror a family man can endure through…well you’ll have to read it. I am not a parent, but I have a feeling that this novel will really hit home to the parents out there. Do not worry that this will be either sappy or over the top. Expect it to flow along forcing you to turn to the next page into the wee hours.
About the Contributing Blogger:
Scott Lowell is an honorably retired and decorated 26 year USAF veteran of Desert Storm/Southern watch, operation Enduring Freedom/Iraqi freedom with multiple middle east trips. When not serving in combat zones, he has been on disaster relief missions, Presidential support missions for President and Mrs Clinton, Vice President Gore, and President George W. Bush. He has also been on MIA repatriation missions from Vietnam via Joint Task Force in Utapao, Thailand. Scott started college at the tender age of 38 and has achieved a degree in Aircraft technology and general studies.
He is a frustrated rock drummer who currently works as a mobile communications technician in Washington state. You might see him haunting the pages of facebook, which is odd because he has always considered himself to have a great face for radio.